The Yakuza Princess
The Yakuza Princess
Author: Haru

Chapter 1

Kyoto, Japan

"Please, come with us. You haven't even named your son yet. What if something happens to you?" Natasha pleaded, holding his husband's hand tightly while the other wrapped around her bump protectively. Lightning flashing, thunder erupting. Her voice was weak against the howling wind and through the torrential downpour.

Park Hwi held up an umbrella which was titled towards Natasha's side. He shook his head and stared at her wife guiltily, "He's coming for my life and won't stop until he has it. I don't want to put you and our son in danger," He moved a step closer, cupping his wife's cheeks gently then rested his forehead against her, "I'm sorry, my wife. I shouldn't have married you. I shouldn't have married anyone knowing I would only bring upon them pain and misery. Please forgive me" 

Natasha closed her eyes in relief savoring the closeness and warmth he gave. This could be the last time. Dancing in her head were the memories they once shared. He had warned her about his past, his background, and his identity. She chose to accept him. Natasha rubbed her thumb across his cheek reassuringly, "The decision to marry you was my choice, and I didn't regret it at all" 

Hwi smiled and leaned down, kissing her bump, "I'm sorry, son. But I'm doing this for you. I want you to have a normal life. I want you to have a chance to be like any other kids. I want you to be born in a healthy environment," He raised and gazed at her wife while occasionally glancing at her bump, "Austin Park. His name"

Natasha nodded, her eyes prickled with unshed tears. Hwi looked over her shoulder at a man behind her. Park Hoon, his subordinate that was currently loading the black Mercedes car with bags and suitcase, "Hoon, Please take care of her. I'm relying on you," Hwi spoke, tapping Hoon's right arm. 

He turned to his wife and grinned, "Don't worry, I'll be joining you soon"

"We have to go now, Natasha," Park Hoon reminded. He sighed when she remained stuck to her spot, desperately clutching his husband's hand. Hoon took a hold of her wrist and dragged her with him. Their hands separated, but their eyes held. Hwi gave her wife a small smile while she reluctantly climbed into the passenger seat. 

The car started moving. Natasha placed her head out of the window and looked back, her hair fluttered in the wind. Hwi waved his hand and mouthed, "I love you," which her wife reciprocated with the same phrase. The tears rushing down her wife's face shattered his heart as he fought the urge to come with them. They had only been married for a year and she was still four months pregnant. His heart ached by thinking that he wouldn't be there during her late pregnancy and childbirth to take care of her. Min Jae stood still, eyes following the car until it disappeared from his sight.

Natasha sat, looking out the window, and stared at his husband until she no longer could. Their two-story house that was built in the wilderness faded slowly, covered by tall woods. She wondered if she would ever return to that house she had called home, to the man she had called husband. Her thoughts were cut short when she heard the muffled sounds of gunshots through the hiss of the falling rain. Her eyes widened in horror as she immediately covered her ears. Hoon added the speed and raced along a rough road that cut into the hillside. 

Park Hoon looked in his rearview mirror and noticed the headlights of a car approaching from behind. The car's roof slid back and a man stood up and sights his rifle with an unobstructed view. "Duck! Natasha," He reached out and held the back of her head, guiding her to duck. The earsplitting blast of gunshots cut through the air. Bullets had ripped the back glass of his car out. A blunt sensation of impact bloomed into white-hot pain within seconds. Warm, thick blood coursed down his arm. He moved his shoulder and winced in pain. Natasha noticed the red liquid dripping from his arm.

She grabbed a handkerchief out of her pocket and tied it around his arm to stop the flow of blood. Natasha eyed him worriedly.

Hoon nodded, "I'm fine, please keep your head down," He grabbed his handgun from the glove compartment. They had never seen his face. He worked in the dark. The tattoo on his shoulder and the peculiar birthmark on his neck were the only things that identify him as one of their members. He would stand hundreds of miles away, watching them through the twenty-power spotting scope during the private transactions. He wanted to fight alongside his brothers but since his elder brother entrusted his wife to him, he swore to protect her safety with his life. 

He hooked the rear sight onto his belt and ran the slide off of his belt, loading a bullet into the chamber. He looked out the back window of the vehicle over the passenger side shoulder and another gunshot flashed past his arm. Quickly, he held the steering wheel with one hand, with the other hand he aimed through the back of the car. He waited for a clear shot and fired. The man slumped into the car. Hoon's bullet had struck him in the center of his head. He aimed for the tire of the car and fired consecutive shots, hitting the tire. The car jerked but corrected the swerve, trying to regain control. 

Hoon slipped the car into neutral and took his foot off the gas. He turned the wheel ninety degrees while pulling hard on the emergency brake. As the rear swings around, he returned the wheel to its original position and put the car back into drive. The car spun around, facing the one that was following them as they fought over the lane. The smell of burning rubber permeated the air. He slammed the car into reverse and turned on the headlights, blinding them. They started to fire aimlessly in all directions. Bullets shattered his windshield and ricocheted off the car with a metallic zing. He ducked and glanced to the rearview mirror. The sharp curve in the hillside road was getting closer and closer. He snapped the car around again and swerved to the empty lane, immediately stepping on a brake. The car blindly raced forward and fell into the path. It bounced on the rocks and rolled down the hill.

Hook looked to his side, "Are you all right?"

Natasha opened her eyes slowly and looked at her surroundings. She had been clutching her seatbelt and ducked the entire time. She sighed deeply and nodded, "How about you? Hoon," She asked, her hand trembling violently. 

"Nothing serious. We better get going. They might still come for us," Hoon stepped on the gas and drove off. He picked up the speed and went to Kobe where he had hidden another car. They climbed into the white SUV and left the black Mercedes behind before continuing their journey. He had been driving for almost five hours with only a brief stop to gas up and grab some food from the gas station. Once they had arrived in Hiroshima, he changed into a different car again, an old blue pickup truck, and drove nonstop to Fukuoka. He was afraid they couldn't catch the ferry on time. They were late for a few minutes but managed to get checked in and boarded the ferry. 

The Busan Hakata (Fukuoka) ferry route connects South Korea with Japan and was currently operated by two ferry companies. The Camellia Line and JR Kyushu Beetle Jet Ferry. He chose the former since it was more crowded although it took longer to arrive. Natasha slept most of the time, exhausted while Hoon kept his guard up. Upon arriving, they took the train to Mokpo then rode a ferry to the island of Anjwa where they settled in a small house. 

As the day passed on, followed by months, soon years. Winter had rolled by, the hibiscus is no longer in bloom. The red slowly faded, petals falling off each day. 

Natasha retraced her steps from the way she came, walking down the deserted shore with the waves rumbling next to her. It was hard to keep her eyes open and every so often would close them, until a more vigorous breeze would arouse her suddenly. She was head to toe in thick winter wear.

Nevertheless, the pain throbbed and at the same time numbed of the frostbite which had gotten into her gloves and boots. 

Yet, she waited. Every single day for her husband to show up someday. She was no longer mad at him for breaking their promise, she just wanted to see him.

He never appeared.

"Mother," a boy called, catching her hand.

She smiled, "Yes? Austin"

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